Los Angeles Restaurants

Los Angeles may be known for its beach living and celebrity-infused backdrop, but it was once a farm town. The hillsides were covered in citrus orchards and dairy farms, and agriculture was a major industry. Today, even as L.A. is urbanized, the city's culinary landscape has re-embraced a local, sustainable, and seasonal philosophy at many levels—from fine dining to street snacks.

With a growing interest in farm-to-fork, the city's farmers' market scene has exploded, becoming popular at big-name restaurants and small eateries alike. In Hollywood and Santa Monica you can often find high-profile chefs scouring farm stands for fresh produce.

Yet the status of the celebrity chef continues to carry weight around this town. People follow the culinary zeitgeist with the same fervor as celebrity gossip. You can queue up with the hungry hordes at Mozza or try and snag a reservation to the ever-popular Trois Mec that’s much like getting a golden ticket these days. Elsewhere, the seasonally driven bakery and insanely popular Huckleberry in Santa Monica has been given a Brentwood counterpart with the rustically sweet Milo & Olive created by the same owners. In Culver City, a run-down International House of Pancakes has been turned into the ski chalet–inspired A-Frame Tavern. The Ace Hotel opened an L.A. chapter Downtown, creating a hip haven when you can enjoy cocktails and locally sourced menu items poolside or in the restaurant.

Ethnic eats continue to be a backbone to the L.A. dining scene. People head to the San Gabriel Valley for dim sum, ramen, and unassuming taco lounges; Koreatown for epic Korean cooking and late-night coffeehouses; and West L.A. and "the Valley" for phenomenal sushi. Latin food is well represented in the city, making it tough to choose between Guatemalan eateries, Peruvian restaurants, nouveau Mexican bistros, and Tijuana-style taco trucks. With so many dining options, sometimes the best strategy is simply to drive and explore.

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  • 1. Alimento

    $$$ | Silver Lake | Italian

    There’s little surprise that chef Zach Pollack’s soulful Italian masterpiece in Silver Lake features a lot of influences and inspirations that...Read More

  • 2. Crossroads

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Vegetarian

    From its famous Impossible Burger (you can’t believe it’s not meat) to its spicy meatball pizza (again, not meat), Crossroads's level of plant...Read More

  • 3. Gwen

    $$$ | Hollywood | Steakhouse

    A heaven for upscale carnivores, this fine-dining restaurant serves impossibly exquisite dishes in a copper-and-marble setting. Cooking meat...Read More

  • 4. Here's Looking At You

    $$$ | Koreatown | Eclectic

    Hawaiian and Asian-inspired dishes can be found on this menu featuring veggie, meat, poultry, and seafood. The environment is eclectic, as is...Read More

  • 5. MozzaPlex

    $$$ | Beverly–La Brea | Italian

    A trio of restaurants by star chef Nancy Silverton, MozzaPlex consists of Pizzeria Mozza, a casual pizza and wine spot; Osteria Mozza, an upscale...Read More

  • 6. Osteria Mozza

    $$$ | Hollywood | Italian

    How close do you think you can get to divinity? At chef Nancy Silverton’s passion project–slash–culinary masterpiece, you’ll come pretty damn...Read More

  • 7. Tar and Roses

    $$$ | Santa Monica | Modern American

    This small and dimly lit romantic spot in Santa Monica is full of adventurous global options, like octopus skewers and venison loin. The new...Read More

  • 8. Union

    $$$ | Pasadena | Italian

    There’s a Michelin-quality Italian restaurant hiding in plain sight in Pasadena. The small and homey space where Northern Italy meets California...Read More

  • 9. A.O.C.

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Mediterranean

    Not to be confused with the congresswoman from New York, the acronym here stands for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, the regulatory system...Read More

  • 10. Animal

    $$$ | Fairfax District | American

    Owned by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Iron Chef fame, this oft-packed James Beard Award–winning restaurant offers shareable plates with a...Read More

  • 11. APL Restaurant

    $$$ | Hollywood | Steakhouse

    The Hollywood dining scene tends to be pretty meat-heavy, and Adam Perry Lang's restaurant is one of the highlights of this trend. While the...Read More

  • 12. Asanebo

    $$$ | Studio City | Japanese

    One of L.A.'s finest sushi restaurants, Asanebo is an inviting, no-frills establishment serving top-quality sushi and a wealth of innovative...Read More

  • 13. Bon Vivant Market and Café

    $$$ | Atwater Village | American

    The extensive and eclectic breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus here, coupled with the fantastic cocktail menu and charming little marketplace...Read More

  • 14. Bottega Louie

    $$$ | Downtown | Italian

    A Downtown dining staple, this lively Italian restaurant and gourmet market features open spaces, stark white walls, and majestic floor-to-ceiling...Read More

  • 15. Café Sierra

    $$$ | Universal City | Seafood

    Don’t let the fact that this airy Californian and pan-Asian spot is located inside a Hilton Hotel scare you; Café Sierra has a drool-worthy...Read More

  • 16. Cleo

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Mediterranean

    A Mediterranean wave is sweeping through L.A. and one of the better spots for small plates of hummus, baba ghanoush, and skillet halloumi ...Read More

  • 17. Coach

    $$$ | Santa Monica | American

    Escape busy Santa Monica State Beach to dine at this casual café and bar within the unfussy oceanfront hotel Shutters on the Beach. Head here...Read More

  • 18. Connie and Ted's

    $$$ | West Hollywood | Seafood

    Inspired by the classic clam, oyster, and fish houses of New England, this beautiful space (the roof is arched like a wave) is occupied by a...Read More

  • 19. Firefly

    $$$ | Studio City | American

    One minute you’re in an old library quickly converted into a lounge, the next you’re in the cabana of a modest country club. Yet Firefly's eclectic...Read More

  • 20. Forma Restaurant and Cheese Bar

    $$$ | Santa Monica | Italian

    Pasta is served here dalla forma, meaning it's cooked, then dipped into a cheese wheel and stirred up until it's coated with melted cheese...Read More

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